While pilot error may contribute to some aviation accidents, in other cases the equipment that the pilot relies on to navigate the skies safely may fail— with catastrophic consequences. When equipment malfunctions or defects are determined to be the cause of an aircraft crash, it is important that the parties responsible for the equipment failure are held accountable in order to provide justice to the victims and their families and to prevent future incidents of negligence which can have similar results. In some instances, the negligence can even be considered criminal if it is discovered that materials or parts were used in the construction or repair of an aircraft that did not adhere to federal aviation regulations.Types of Aviation Equipment Failure
Aircraft are composed of many parts and devices which are designed to work in unison to safely lift the craft into the air and return it to the ground. If any of these components or devices fails, it can spell doom for the pilot and passengers on board.
- Structural Components— The metal components used in the construction of aircraft must meet strict standards in place by the FAA. Flying at high speeds and altitudes places a lot of pressure on the metal parts of the aircraft and if the plane or helicopter is composed of substandard metals, cracks can form over time which will eventually cause a portion of the aircraft to buckle or break under pressure.
- Electrical Devices— Pilots rely on numerous devices to be able to navigate, determine velocity and altitude and to assess conditions both in the air and on the ground. If any of these devices fail, it is at the pilot, crew and passengers’ peril. For this reason, ground crew must ensure that all devices are working properly before allowing any aircraft to take off and pilots must perform their own checks.
- Engine Failure— While most commercial aircraft are designed to be able to withstand the failure of a single engine, smaller aircraft often possess only a single engine or are affected more by the loss of an engine than a large Boeing 737 might be. Engine failure will often result in a crash shortly following takeoff, but has also occurred midflight with horrifying consequences.
Ground crews have the daunting and important task of catching any problem that may exist on or inside of the aircrafts that they service. While some equipment failures are due to poor repair work or failure to inspect an aircraft, some defects and problems manage to evade even the most diligent servicemen. Equipment failure can result from any combination of factors including the following.
- Poor design or materials— Some aircraft are manufactured with cheap materials or with parts that do not meet FAA regulations, often resulting in failure at some point.
- Improper inspection— Oftentimes, equipment failure results from a lack of awareness to safety concerns. When workers fail to inspect aircraft properly or cut corners in doing so, they can fail to detect what may be a fixable defect.
- Improper equipment use— Using equipment for purposes it was not intended or in an improper manner may cause it to fail as well. If the equipment fails for this reason, it could be considered pilot error.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an aviation accident, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to learn more about your rights as a traveler and victim. If it was determined that the accident was the result of negligence on part of a pilot, repair team or manufactural defect, you may be entitled to compensation. We will be happy to discuss your legal options with you during a free consultation and if we are unable to help you collect the compensation you are owed, our services will be free as well.